Here I go again, talking about the Cooking Channel; maybe that’s why I struggle to stay on my diet. My new favorite show is the Hungry Girl. She helps people, like me, make better choices without starving! She has a recipe for a Growing Bowl of Oatmeal, that turns ½ cup of oatmeal into a Pat sized serving that lets you leave the table feeling satisfied. Another one is her chocolate satisfying Mississippi Mud Pie recipe.
I love to eat…and I love to cook for hungry people or people that enjoy food as much as I do. We have a friend in the mountains that we have over frequently to eat with us. He built his cabin during the same time we did, so about twice a week, we just added a plate and fed him whatever we were eating. He arrived with an appetite, ready to eat and share stories. It was great, but people that aren't hungry drive me bananas. No matter what you cook, they just nibble or move their food around on their plate. Agghh!
I have felt that way after giving an invitation to children. It is frustrating. You know God has awesome things for them, and yet they fail to respond; sometimes even to simple request like worship or giving God thanks. When I see them stare at the ground or ceiling, or playing instead of praying, I feel SO frustrated. It’s as if they’re not hungry for more of God…and that is the problem, they aren’t hungry. That hunger is graphically described in Psalm 42:1 NLT “... As the deer pants for streams of water, so I long for you, O God.” If indeed that is the real problem, what can we do to create a hunger in their hearts?
How can we help children develop a hunger for more of God?
1.Pray ‘em hungry. Ask God to give them a desire for more of Him. It’s a prayer He wants to answer. Encourage the children to pray it as well. God I want to want more of you.
2. Whet their appetite with descriptive pictures. Describe how good God is. Describe regularly how much you enjoy worship. Let them see you enjoy it. Share special things that have happened to you as you spent time in God’s presence.
3. Let them taste for themselves with little bites, little segments of time. Give them opportunities to pray. One minute praise break. Tell God things you love about Him.
4. Limit the amount of junk food. If they fill up on junk, they won’t be hungry for what nourishes them. Don’t do away with the fun; just limit it so they don’t get satisfied with only junk food.
I must re emphasis point 1,pray, pray, pray. Ask God to create hunger in their hearts. Invite Him into your service. He wants to come more than you can imagine and they need it more than you can imagine.